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Forecast Calls for More Online Advertising Spend; Who’s Keeping Score?

As an internet marketer, any report of an increase in online ad spending brings a smile to my face. And a new forecast by ZenithOptimedia is the latest reason for happiness.

Zenith’s original forecast, made in March, said the Internet would account for 9.7 percent of global ad spending this year, for a total of $47.5 billion, and 12.3 percent in 2010, or $66.9 billion.

In the new forecast, Zenith predicts that online spending will exceed 10 percent of all advertising in 2008, for a total of $52.2 billion, and in 2010 account for 13.6 percent, or $78.2 billion.

Makes you want to grab the champagne, right?

But, with all these forecasts, studies, estimates, and whatnot, where’s the accountability? Who’s logging these numbers and then looking back at their accuracy?

B2C Lead Report. Good News For SEO’s and Email Marketers.

Two weeks ago, Andy brought you the B2B Lead Generation handbook. Without further ado, we now bring you B2C.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Email marketing are the two best bets for your marketing dollar, according to a new report from UK Based eConsultancy in conjunction with Clash-Media. Viral marketing” landed on the other end of the spectrum based on the feedback of 600 companies.

Some of the highlights from company respondents:

  • A greater proportion of lead generation budget is being spent on online (on average, 53%) than offline (44%).
  • Compared to 2007, PPC is getting a bigger proportion of online lead generation budgets even though natural search is perceived to be better value for the money.

Google to Charge $15 for First Search Query Checked

If the above headline were true, Google would have found itself at the bottom of the annual Harris Interactive Reputation Quotient poll, along with all of the major airlines.

Fortunately, for us and them, Google doesn’t charge for its search engine and, when it comes to taking care of its employees, leads corporate America.

Largely for its reputation for treating workers well, Google claimed the No. 1 spot from Microsoft Corp, which fell to 10th place.

"The ratings they get focus on how they treat their employees, their workplace environment," said Robert Fronk, senior vice president at Rochester, New York-based Harris. "They absolutely get tremendous credit for the social responsibility, which for them is also linked with their vision and leadership."

Teenagers Not Internet Zombies

Who knew? A study by OTX finds that on average teens (aged 13-17) spend 11.5 hours online a week (yep, not a day . . . no comment on how many hours I spend online a day. . . .). Nearly a quarter of teens spend over 15 hours online per week, while 45% spent eight hours or less online.

The study also looked at what teens did online. 58% have made a purchase online (though it doesn’t say whether the study made it clear that iTunes counts ;) ):

On average teens who make purchases online are spending $46 per month, and 26% of teens are spending $50 or more. Clothes and music [only 41%? Again, iTunes counts, folks!] are the two most popular online purchases, followed by books, electronics and DVDs. . . .

Facebook Catches MySpace; MySpace to Get Botox

Do you believe in simple coincidences? If you do, then you’ll believe that MySpace’s announced facelift has nothing to do with the fact that Facebook has just caught up to its global audience numbers.

TC has comScore data charting Facebook’s unstoppable worldwide growth and how it has now matched MySpace’s 115 million monthly visitors number (although still behind MySpace’s US audience numbers).

In no response whatsoever, MySpace plans to rollout a major new look on June 18th. The company has announced that its homepage, navigation, profiles, search, and MySpace TV player will all get a new look.

"This is more than a facelift; we’re changing the way people interact with the site and with brands," MySpace said, adding that a major advertiser had signed on to take over the US MySpace homepage on the first day of the relaunch.

Lack of Quality TV Pushing Consumers to Online Entertainment

Here’s a shocker–the majority of shows on TV are boring and cable is expensive.

It’s no wonder then that consumption of online video has gone up significantly as less and less people watch TV.  Ipsos MediaCT conducted a study involving 1,102 early adopters who currently stream and download video online. From February 2007 to February 2008, video consumption from television went down 7 percent in just one year among this group.  Video consumption online went up 72% in the same time period.

What is surprising about this study?  The phenomenon of turning online for entertainment is not isolated or driven by a few select demographic groups, but rather is relatively consistent across all age groups and genders.

US Blog Readership Stands in the Shadow of the UK

Over the last 3 years, UK internet traffic to blogs and personal websites has grown by 208%, according to new data from Hitwise.

The web intelligence company has just released new data on blog readership in the United Kingdom which shows 1.19% of all UK web traffic flowed to a blog. (Not a single blog–that would be a great site to own–but to blogs in general)

This chart shows just how much blog readership in the UK has grown…

How does this compare with US readership? Despite what we may think about the US being on the "cutting edge" of social media, only 0.73% of all US traffic flowed to blog/personal journal sites.